By Natalie Stevenson
As we hiked down the mountain to the Assi Ganga river valley my only motivation was to put my days without showering behind me. I looked around the rock-filled river bed and the streams of water spewing here and there. I reminisced about my whitewater rafting days in Colorado.
It was a beautiful sight but as I stumbled through the rocks, I was overcome with misery. We passed so many little pools that would have been perfect for washing my hair. But I stayed crawling and twisting my way to keep up with the group.
Eventually I could see what we had been moving toward – a huge pool with the perfect rocks to jump off of. I saw Evan and Avery jumping from a cliff into the freezing water as I approached. All the others were timid to step foot in the nearly frozen water.
I stripped right down to clothes that I did not mind getting wet and went “all out,” as Caleb said in his blog post. I sat perched on a half submerged rock and began to lather up. Everyone stood about me in amazement – the quietest girl on the trip was seemingly unfazed by the 30 degree water. I dunked my whole head in the frigid water and was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace. I felt one with nature and for the first time on this trip felt no internal fear.
Bathing in the Assi Ganga river was once in a lifetime opportunity that I was not going to pass up, just as living side by side with the people of Agora is.
I realized that jumping in to anything with no hesitation, be it making chapatis, building a roof, or bathing in freezing water, makes for a more rich experience. A “no hesitation” lifestyle is something we should all aim for.